It is often said that a real leader is forged in crisis and uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic emerged leaders from out of the community who have shown leadership, heroism and compassion qualities. Many community members have played a positive role in society. From essential workers keeping store shelves stocked to community groups and charities doing their part, to media and political leaders raising awareness about public health guidelines. Especially, front-line medical professionals who have been at the forefront of this crisis.
Leading during this unprecedented crisis can fulfill a fundamental craving for community, significance and purpose. According to leadership experts Heifitz & Linsky (2002, p. 209):
Connection with other people is essential in the human experience. Leading provides an opportunity to establish and exercise that connection with the community. Leadership can give life meaning beyond the usual monotonous day to day routine. It provides approval of friends and peers, material gain, or the immediate gratification of success. Leadership allows us to establish trusting connections with other people. This connection is similar to the most important type of human emotion, that is love.
As parents and children with love and passion for those around us, we want to emerge as leaders in such a time of crisis for our friends, family and loved ones. We want to support our loved ones and protect them from suffering, disruption and uncertainty brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The important thing is to strengthen our relationships and resilience and remember what our parents and grandparents always used to say in times of crisis,
“This too shall pass, and we’ll get through this together.”
By learning CITIZENSHIP through our programs, our participants understand that leaders have a duty to:
ACCEPT OTHERS, RESPECT OTHERS, DO YOUR PART and PARTICIPATE.
Uncertainty is frightening but more so is being alone. Knowing that we are good citizens of the community and there to support one another through times of crisis makes us stronger and more resilient. Let us all practice good citizenship and lead through this time together!
by Muhammad Shahmir Masood – Digital Communications and Development Intern
Learn more about how our programs develop leadership qualities and good citizenship!
- Koehn, Nancy. (2020). “Real Leaders Are Forged in Crisis.” Harvard Business Review, April 3.
- Heifitz, R. A. & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press